T20 World Cup: Green signal to express himself fearlessly behind Suryakumar’s ascent to top of T20I rankings

Suryakumar Yadav, the newly-crowned No.1 T20I batter and India’s middle-order mainstay, has revealed that getting the green signal from the team management to express himself fearlessly has been a pivotal reason behind his climb to the top of the batting rankings in the shortest format of the game.

Suryakumar capped off a tremendous period of dominance on Wednesday when he overtook Pakistan wicketkeeper-opener Mohammad Rizwan to become just the second India player to hold the No.1 spot in Men’s Player Rankings for T20I batters.

His rise to the top comes less than 20 months since he made his international debut against England in March 2021, with Suryakumar having already earned huge accolades which players would be happy to get in their entire career.

Suryakumar has one T20I century and an impressive 11 half-centuries to his name. But it’s the strike rate in excess of 177 and an ability to score in all parts of the ground and be a 360-degree player that stands out from his astonishing batting style.

“The freedom from the (India) management is a big boost for any player because the number at which I bat there is a lot of pressure when you go into bat. I feel the way they have handled me and given me a green signal to express fearlessly and I enjoy what I do wherever I am in the side, even if I get out. Out of 10 times, if I am succeeding seven times why not take a positive route?” said Suryakumar to ICC.

Suryakumar scored an eye-catching 73 for Mumbai on his Ranji Trophy debut way back in 2010 and had compiled almost 100 first-class appearances in domestic cricket in India apart from success in the IPL prior to finally getting his chance on the international stage.

He said a lot of hard work had gone into him reaching the top spot on the T20I batter rankings and is aware of continuing to evolve to maintain his ranking. “I am really happy with it (No.1 ranking) and it has been hard work all the way. Reaching (No.1) was very difficult, but I think staying here will be more difficult. It will be a challenge, but I will try my best.”

India’s next match in the T20 World Cup is against Zimbabwe to end the Super 12 stage at Melbourne on Sunday. Suryakumar signed off by saying he won’t change his approach too much and would continue to try take the momentum away from Zimbabwe’s bowling attack to make things easy for his team.

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